These rules apply to all Havre de Grace Yacht Club Thursday Night Races, Hospice Cup, Bob McVey Memorial Race, J-24 After Dark Series and the Sunday Series.  The starting sequence may be modified for the After Dark Series and the Sunday Series.

Please note: fleets/starts and instructions have been adjusted to account for impact of coronavirus on the club and membership.

1. RULES: The event will be governed by The Racing Rules of Sailing, 2021-2024, the prescriptions of the National Authority when they apply, the Regional Authority, the rules of each class concerned, these Sailing Instructions, and such other rules as are applicable.


2.1 Any attempt by a contestant to exercise right of way, to cross in close proximity to or to interfere with the reasonable transit of the race area by a commercial freighter or burdened tug shall result in disqualification.  Contestants must take corrective action well in advance of any extreme situation.  See inland rule 18, responsibilities between vessels.  Penalty provisions can be up to $5,000.00 for each violation.

2.2 A boat without way may use any means of propulsion to avoid underway commercial traffic, provided:

2.2.1 The boat does not gain advantage;

2.2.2 Using the propulsion is the only means of avoiding the commercial traffic;

2.2.3 And the boat submits a report (by email) to the by the protest filing deadline that describes the incident and the boat’s actions.

2.3 All boats shall abide by the US Sailing Monohull or Multihull (as appropriate) Nearshore Sailing Safety Equipment Requirements.  The requirements are available from US Sailing at

2.3.1 All boats shall also be in compliance with equipment and vessel safety requirements of the U.S. Coast Guard and Maryland Marine Police.

2.4 All members of boats participating in a race shall follow all current safety and health requirements and recommendations of the Local, State, and Federal health authorities.

2.5 All members of boats participating in a race shall complete the HdGYC REGATTA WAIVER AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY and provide the waiver to the HdGYC Secretary before participating.

2.6 Committee shall use VHF for safety related communications.  See section 17 “wireless communications”.

2.7 All boats shall check-in at the start of the race to identify themselves to the race committee with boat name and the number of persons on board.  Race committee shall record the vessels and number of persons onboard.

3.  NOTICES TO COMPETITORS: Notices to competitors will be posted on the HDGYC website, under the racing tab, the Havre de Grace Yacht Club Facebook page, and e-mailed to all members of the Havre de Grace Yacht Club.

4. CHANGES TO THE SAILING INSTRUCTIONS: Any changes to these Sailing Instructions will be posted on the HdGYC website under the racing tab by 22:00 on the day before it will take effect, except that any changes to the schedule of races will be posted by 12:00 on the day before it will take effect.

5. SIGNALS MADE ASHORE: Signals made ashore will be displayed from the Tidewater Marina flag pole on the marina bulkhead.  In the event of hazardous weather, or the threat of hazardous weather, the race committee will display ashore either the flag AP over the flag H, indicating a postponement with further signals ashore; or the flag N, indicating abandonment of racing for the night.  When the AP over H is displayed, information on new starting times and any changes in starting sequence shall be announced via VHF Communication in accordance with Section 17.  Once the decision to race is made, the race committee will display the flag L from the Tidewater Marina flag pole, indicating a notice has been posted with the new starting times and any other relevant information.

6. SCHEDULE OF RACES: Race Committees should attempt to use GPS times for the following sequences.  Start times shall be as follows:

Approx. TimeFlags Displayed by RC
RC Boat in area18:00RC flag
Warning Daysailer and J/24 Classes18:15code flag “1” and “U” (up)
Start Daysailer and J/2418:20code flag “1” and “U” (down at start)
Start PHRF Spinnaker18:25code flag “7” (down at start)
Start PHRF Cruisers18:30code flag “5” (down at start)
Start PHRF-NS Racers18:35White Flag (down at start)

 7. CLASS FLAGS AND FLEETS: For the purpose of scoring, the Fleet splits will be as follows:

FleetBoat Class FlagNotes
Daysailer ClassNoneAll boats complying with the Star Class one design specification
J-24 Classcode flag “U”All boats complying with the J-24 Class one design specification
PHRF Spinnakercode flag “7”
PHRF Cruiserscode flag “5”Only one (1) headsail may be used at a time while racing, except for cutter rigs flying headsails in the normal configuration.

Sail Area / Displacement ratio < 18.0
PHRF-NS RacersWhite FlagOnly one (1) headsail may be used at a time while racing, except for cutter rigs flying headsails in the normal configuration.

Sail Area / Displacement ratio > 18.0


8.1 Courses will be indicated by letters displayed on the Course Board. The Course Boards may be displayed on the side of the committee boat away from the starting line in order to keep the starting line clear.  If one course is displayed, all classes will sail that course.  If two courses are displayed, the Daysailer, J/24 and PHRF Spinnaker fleets will sail the course indicated by a black triangle and the Non-Spinnaker fleets will sail the course indicated by a black circle.

8.2 The letters reading from left to right will indicate the order of rounding or passing. The letters so displayed correspond to letters on the “Havre de Grace Yacht Club Racing Chart”, contained herein. Twice around will be indicated by the number 2 at the end of the course letters before the number, and three times by the number 3.

8.3 A green letter signifies leave the mark to starboard.  A red letter signifies leave the mark to port. Letter “Z” signifies that boats must pass through the finish line on the way to the next mark of the course, and watch for a possible course change.  RC may use the letter “Z” for multi-lap courses since the wind frequently dies with the daylight, as the course can then be shortened by finishing at “Z”.

8.4 RC will also consider using a triangular course for the non-spin fleets, with special attention to the interactions of marks selected for the different courses.  When possible, marks should be selected that do not require the fleets to cross courses or round marks in opposite directions.

9.  MARKS:

9.1 A combination of government marks, Havre de Grace Yacht Club marks, and race buoy drop-marks may be used.

9.2 Havre de Grace Yacht Club Marks, and HdGYC nomenclature for government marks, are published at

9.3 Drop mark “Y” is a yellow tetrahedron.


10.1 The racing area is the mouth of the Susquehanna River as indicated on

10.2 There will be a rendezvous with the Race Committee after the time the Race Committee is in the area at approximately 18:00, and before the first warning signal at 18:15.  Each boat shall pass by and be acknowledged by the race committee.


11.1 The start line shall be between the yellow flag on the race committee boat anchored in the vicinity of a mark and that mark.  If conditions are not suitable for starting the race from a committee boat, the yellow flag may be flown from the Tidewater Marina flagpole.  In that case the start line shall be between that yellow flag and the Z mark.

11.2 Races will be started by using RRS 26 with the warning signal made 5 minutes before the starting signal.  A series of short horn blasts will be sounded approximately twenty seconds prior to the beginning of the starting sequence.

11.3 The starting line will be between a yellow flag on the RC boat and the nearest race mark.

11.4 Boats whose warning signal has not been made shall avoid the starting area during the starting sequence for other races.

11.5 A boat that does not start within 10 minutes after her starting signal will be scored Did Not Start without a hearing. This changes RRS A4 and A5.

11.6 During the Sunday Series the Organizing Authority and the Race Committee may combine classes into a single start.  The combination of any classes and the order of start shall be made clear by email to the membership by 12:00 the day before the first race of the series.

11.7 Individual recalls shall be made by the Race Committee flying code flag “X” (Individual Recall) and making one sound signal.  An attempt may be made by the RC to hail the sail numbers of the boats that have started prematurely (OCS). Failure to hear a hail is no excuse for not returning to restart.  General Recall, when necessary, will be made after the starting signal, by raising the first substitute flag and with two sound signals for the class recalled. The class recalled shall start last. If more than one class has a General Recall, the first class recalled will restart first, five minutes after the starting schedule has been completed.

12.THE FINISH: The finish line will be between the flagpole on the Tidewater Marina and the “Z” mark. A race may be shortened to finish between any mark of the course and a yellow flag on a race committee boat that is displaying code flag S.  The direction of finishing is indicated by the color (red or green) of the posted “Z” mark.

13. PENALTY SYSTEM: The 720° penalty, RRS rule 44.1 and 44.2 will apply.

14. TIME LIMITS: One boat of a class finishing in two hours makes a race for the class. Any boat not finishing within two and one half hours of her starting signal may be scored DNF. The word “class”, for this notice is defined as any one of the classes or divisions named in the starting schedule above (Daysailer, J24, PHRF Spinnaker, PHRF Non-Spinnaker).

15. PROTEST AND REQUEST FOR REDRESS: Written protests must be submitted to the Race Committee by 11:59pm on the day of the race associated with the protest. Protests shall be submitted via email to:  A remote on-line protest hearing will be arranged at a later time, with details to communicated to those involved. If race competitors are involved in a collision before, during or after a race that results in damage or injuries a protest must be filed by both vessels with the race committee immediately after the race.


16.1 The Low Point scoring system of Appendix A of the RRS will be used.  A boat that came to the starting areas but did not start, did not finish, retired after finishing, or was disqualified shall be scored points for the finishing place one more than the number of boats that started the race. A boat that did not come to the starting area (DNC) shall be scored points for the finishing place one more than the number of boats entered in the series.

16.2 A skipper serving as Race Committee shall receive points for service equal to the average of the best three races of the series, provided that his or her class is racing. He or she shall only serve as race committee one time for the purpose of point retention in a series. If the Race Committee makes a good faith effort to conduct a race, but other factors prevent her class from racing (e.g. insufficient wind, too much wind, insufficient boats), the skipper shall receive points for service equal to the average of the best five races of the series.  If the committee’s boat chooses to race, her finish will not be scored for the series results. The RC boat does not count as a boat racing in her class, when determining the scoring of that class.  Boats will not be scored for individual races until racing dues are paid. Thursday evening scores shall be based on each boat’s best 6 races of the series including DNC scores, providing an adequate number of races were completed overall.

16.3 TIES: Ties will be broken in accordance with Appendix A8 of RRS.16.


17.1 Competitors shall carry a VHF radio in accordance with section 2.3 of these instructions.  Competitors shall monitor VHF channel 71 for communications from Race Committee and use channel 71 for communications with the Race Committee.

17.2 Except in an emergency, a boat that is racing shall not make voice or data transmissions and shall not receive voice or data communication that is not available to all boats.

17.3  Committee will announce postponements, course changes, cancelations over VHF channel 71.

18. BOAT ENTRIES: To be made on a form supplied by the Havre de Grace Yacht Club. The racing entry fee is fifty-five dollars ($55) for the season.

19. HANDICAPPING: Time on distance scoring applies to PHRF Spinnaker and Non­-Spinnaker classes. The J/24, Lightning and Star fleets race as One-Design classes.

20. SPECIAL RULE, BOB McVEY MEMORIAL: Anyone racing in the Bob McVey Memorial shall participate in the class they sailed in for the majority of their Thursday Night Races. In the event of a no majority tie, the deciding factor shall be the class in which the boat sailed the most in the second half of the season.

21. TROPHIES: Only boats with paid Havre de Grace Yacht Club racing entry fees will be scored for series trophies. Havre de Grace Yacht Club overall trophies for J/24 and Star classes shall be awarded on the basis that each class shall select. Overall trophies for Non-spin and Spin classes shall be awarded based on results of the Thursday night series. Thursday evening series trophies and Havre de Grace Yacht Club overall trophies will be awarded at the annual meeting of the Havre de Grace Yacht Club.

22. SPECIAL NOTE: Havre de Grace Yacht Club will not knowingly serve any alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age, or dispense alcohol to anyone who is viewed as abusing the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The ultimate responsibility for the conduct of all participants at a sailboat racing event, including social events connected with it, falls upon the individual skipper of each participating boat.